Tag Archives: Fingers

Baby’s Reach Exceeds His Grasp

It’s a huge day in baby’s life.

On the day the little dude figures out just what — exactly — the wriggly things on the ends of his hands are for, it marks a major turning point in his relationship with his parents.

Whereas, before the epiphany, mom, dad and little dudette were living in a state of blissful harmony, marked by glances full of love and adoration, it’s a whole different ball of goop after.

Before, you could put the little dude in a high chair next to a table and

Babies tend to grab stuff as much as possible once they realize they actually can have an effect on the outside world.
Gimme!

have him sit there blissfully playing with whatever happened to be in front of him. Which let Mom and Dad eat relatively leisurely and without much incident.

And then the little dudette gains the smallest extra bit of self awareness and realizes that she can cause change in the environment around herself. And she can do it with her hands because they — holds up hands in front of wide eyes and wriggles fingers back and forth like a stoner realizing for the first that the four fingers are like a highway and the thumb is a little off ramp and whoa! Dude! doesn’t that just blow your mind?  — allow her to grab stuff.

Even better, those two hands and ten fingers allow her to grab stuff and then throw it anywhere. Or knock stuff over. Or, best of all, grab stuff, use that stuff to throw and knock over more stuff and watch Mommy and Daddy freak out, jump up and start talking funny and blotting at their clothing with napkins.

And here’s the thing. Even when new parents accustom themselves to the idea that their little dude can now grab stuff, it still takes a while before the really understand that he can lean farther than they think and knock over stuff a really big distance away.

It happened to me. When Sarcasmo was a young ‘un, maybe a year or so, his grandmother, Kaki (who was my mom) went away for a week or so. This was during the time he discovered the wriggly things and grabbing stuff.

Kaki asked to hold Sarcasmo while we were out to eat for a friendly lunch at a Gainesville diner. I warned her about his newfound propensity for grabbing stuff. She glared at me, silently reassuring me that she managed to raise me and my sister and she knew what she was doing thank you very much you young know-it-all. Mom had very expressive eyes.

What Kaki had forgotten was that reflexes, if not used, will sometimes decay. She stood Sarcasmo up in her lap, facing the table, and having fun.

He managed to get a salt shaker and mostly full glass of Diet Coke before I could get him free from Kaki’s lap and into his car seat, which we were using as a high chair. Kaki insisted on having Sarcasmo sit next to her.

He managed to get the refilled Diet Coke and a very mean look from the waitress who had to clean it up. Again.

Even experienced parents can misjudge the reach of a newly grabby little dude. Much less those new parents who have no experience to fall back on in their panic.

And this is before we bring in poisons and cleaning supplies and the like into the equation.

All is not lost, though.

To combat a little dude’s propensity for grabbing stuff, you only need to remove from his immediately surrounding environment anything that you could grab with your arms. And lock up all cabinets with the most parent-annoying security system imaginable, and then use them.

No worries.*

Footnotes & Errata

* That was a lie. There are a lot of worries. It’s not until you get to your third or so kid that you stop worrying and begin to think you know it all. Of course, that’s when everyone around you begins to panic because they just don’t understand that a toddler juggling razor-sharp knives while riding a kiddie unicycle is just little dudes being little dudes.

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Charlotte Parent: Urban Chickens

Eggs come from styrofoam containers.

Chicken comes in convenient breaded fingers. That’s all you need to know.

Unless you’re the type of parent who wants to show your little dudes and dudettes the *begin sarcasm tag* truth *end sarcasm tag*.

I’ve got a bit of a screed on the subject and it’s not because I got scared by a chicken clucking behind my back like a sneak, taking advantage of the fact that no one — no one — expects the chicken inquisition when walking down a suburban street.

Today at Charlotte Parent, where I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name, I’m letting it go with both barrels when I start ranting about urban chickens. No, you mispronounced that. It’s not ur-bane chickens. I was talking about urban chickens.

That is, chickens that people keep when they live in the city. Living chickens that haven’t been divided up into convenient fry-ready pieces. Yet.

Join us, won’t you, as we all head to Charlotte Parent for the day?

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Tales From The Ice Age

Down here in the South, we’re not used to being snowed in.

Well, we are, but normally by snow we mean sunshine and by snowed in we mean enjoying the warm, sunny day. But I’m guessing it’s not really the same thing.

Anyway, the Great Blizzard of 2014 lasted from a Tuesday through a Saturday, which was when even the most timid person could drive on roads that had most recently been covered by snow and ice.

So, the other day, I was talking to some of my fellow survivors and we were discussing our various problems that surfaced when we couldn’t leave the house for almost four whole days.

With no further ado, I bring you one of those stories. I warn you, it’s not for the meek at heart, the timid nor the easily frightened. It contains instances of cannibalism* too frightening to be discussed in polite company.

Allow me to introduce Henry Tudor, who works as a freelance educator here in Charlotte. He’s a young dad, with two kids. His youngest is a little dude, who is about 2 years old. His first child, a young dudette, is about 4 years old.

“I got home Monday night and couldn’t leave the house until Saturday when I started calling people up and begging them to see if they needed to meet anywhere.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It was fun. We made snow forts, built snowmen and threw snowballs and all that stuff. But we were Cheetos are a great snack, even though they leave your fingers all orange and sticky and with yellow crumbs all over your mouth.basically stuck inside for four days. And that’s inside for four days with two kids under 5 years old.

It seemed like all I was doing all day, every day, for all those snow-in days was picking stuff up. I would pick up one batch of stuff, get it squared away, then turn around and find another completely different batch of stuff scattered all over a different room. I almost got to the point where I was seriously considering that they were doing it on purpose, that they were out to get me.

As bad as all these messes were, nothing will beat what my son did.

I was putting away another armful of toys and stuff when he darted off behind my back to the pantry. There he got out a bag of those cheese crunches, like Cheetos. He ran to the couch and emptied the entire bag all along the length of the couch.

Then he stripped naked and started dancing all up and down on the Cheetos-filled couch.

I had a hard time getting angry about it because I was laughing so hard. It just made no sense. I asked him why he did it and he just looked up at me, completely innocent and shrugged. He had no idea. I guess it just seemed a good idea at the time.

I mean, it drove me crazy, but, I had to admit, as performance art, it was definitely next-level stuff.”

I’m happy to report that mother, daughter, son and father all made it through the experience only a little the worse for wear. The couch mostly cleaned up and the son had a nice midnight snack between his toes for the next day or so, which made him happy.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is kids in a nutshell. Not just dain-bramaged adults, but completely alien beings, who only happen to look like chubby, little adults.

*No, it doesn’t. I lied about that, mostly just for the lulz. I mean, the idea of a giant Cheeto eating a bunch of little Cheetos and it can’t stop. . . That’s comedy gold. Too bad I didn’t actually include anything about that in the post.

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